WP160 Skinscapes

Peck & Stroud
Collection: Key word


The paper argues for extending linguistic landscape studies to also encompass the body as a corporeal landscape, or ?moving discursive locality?. We articulate this point within a narrative of a developing field of landscape studies that is increasingly attentive to the mobility and materiality of spatialized semiotics as performative, that is, as partially determining of how we come to understand ourselves ?in place?. Taking Cape Town?s tattooing culture as an illustration, we unpack the idea of ?the human subject as an entrepreneur of the self, as author of his or her being in the world? (Comaroff and Comaroff 2012: 23), by using a phenomenological methodology to explore the materiality of the body as a mobile and dynamic space of inscribed spatialized identities and historical power relations. Specifically, we focus on: how tattooed bodies sculpt future selves and imagined spaces, the imprint they leave behind in the lives of five participants in the study, and ultimately the creation of bodies that matter in time and place. The paper will conclude with a discussion of what studies of corporeal landscapes may contribute to a broader field of linguistic landscape studies.